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Ming, Artest help Rockets blaze past Mavericks

Oct 31, 2008 - 4:48 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Yao Ming poured in 30 points and Ron Artest scored 10 of his 29 in the fourth quarter to lead the Houston Rockets to a 112-102 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.

Tracy McGrady added 16 points and seven rebounds and Aaron Brooks chipped in 14 points off the bench for the Rockets, who outscored the Mavericks, 27-16, in the fourth quarter.

Trailing, 86-85, entering the final frame, Artest and Brooks combined for 12 points during a 16-7 run over the first six minutes of the fourth to give Houston the lead for good.

"Ron (Artest) is another option for us offensively and he really sets the tone on the defensive end," McGrady said. "He can score and score in a variety of ways. It was fun to watch him go to work in the fourth quarter."

Brooks, who was not expected to play due to a bone bruise in his right ankle, showed no signs of the injury during the decisive fourth, scoring 11 of his 14 points in the frame and adding three assists. Tied, 92-92, with 8:33 to play, Houston went on a 16-2 run to go up 108-94.

"Brooks made a couple of big shots in the fourth quarter," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "For a guy that wasn't supposed to be out there, he was a real difference-maker for them tonight."

Artest had seven points during the spurt, capping it with a 3-pointer. He finished 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

"Ron was terrific the whole game," Houston coach Rick Adelman said. "Took some big shots, defended well. It was a great team win. A great team win."

The Rockets held Dallas to 3-13 from the floor over the first eight minutes of the final quarter.

"It was all about the defense in the fourth quarter," Artest said. "Tracy McGrady kept saying we've got to pick up the pressure and the whole team stepped it up. We're a great defensive team and that's with (McGrady) at only 80 percent. When he gets back to 100 percent we'll be even better."

The Mavericks cut the deficit to 108-100 with 2:01 remaining but shot 1-of-5 the rest of the way.

"We didn't execute down the stretch," Dallas forward Josh Howard said. "We should have gone to the basket instead of just settling for jumpers in the fourth quarter. I'm not sure we went to the basket until I made that layup with about three minutes left."

Dirk Nowitzki and Howard combined for 64 points to lead Dallas, which shot just 4-of-16 from beyond the arc and 35-of-84 (41 percent) overall.

The Rockets used a 16-0 run bridging the first and second quarters to take a 46-33 lead with 9:21 remaining in the half. Yao scored nine points during the run and finished the game 11-of-15 from the field and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. He also pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.

"We played with a lot of patience in the fourth quarter," Yao said. "When the game is close we need to play more effectively. We don't need to take rushed shots and tonight we didn't take a lot of shots under pressure."

Nowitzki scored 12 points and Jason Terry added six over the remainder of the second to pull the Mavericks within 62-59 at the break. Terry finished with 15 points off the bench.

Houston shot 48 percent (38-of-79) from the floor, including 7-of-14 on 3-pointers.